Charles C. E. Buhler, 73, a personnel official with the Federal Maritime Administration from 1950 until he retired in 1971 as assistant personnel officer and chief of division for career management, died May 31 at Ormond Beach Memorial Hospital in Ormond Beach, Fla. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Buhler was born in Detroit. In the 1930s, he was a mechanic in the old Army Air Corps. During World War II, he was a civilian pesonnel official with the Army Ground Forces in Washington. After the war, he worked with the Army in Germany and then in Japan.

From 1971 to 1974, Mr. Buhler served on the Prince George's County Personnel Board. From 1972 to 1976, he also served on the Merit Systems Board of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Mr. Buhler lived in Fort Washington until 1978, when he moved to Ormond Beach. He was a former member of the Oxon Hill Lutheran Church and Grace Lutheran Church in Fort Washington.

His marriage to Clara Buhler ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Catherine A. of Ormond Beach; a daughter by his first marriage, Helen Marie Vallone of Wheaton; two children by his second marriage, Charles Edward Buhler of Deland, Fla., and Carolyn Ann Buhler of Mitchellville, Md.; two sisters, Helen Joachim of Stuart, Fla., and Freda Adams of Hamilton, Ontario; and five grandchildren.